After nearly 20 years, American Idol has remained a steady mainstay with audiences between its time on FOX and the revival on ABC. But as the show continues to be loved by so many and grow into new audiences around the world, Season 7 winner David Cook has much to be humbled by. The singer-songwriter, who since his 2008 win has released three albums and two EPs — with a third releasing this April — admits to PopCulture.com that while he watches the show occasionally, he will not disclose who he is rooting for, for a very funny reason.
"I've tuned in kind of peripherally and I've seen a couple of voices that I really like. I'm not going to say who only because anytime I name who I like, they don't make it, so I won't curse them in that way," Cook laughed as he revealed in our series, PopCulture @Home ahead of the release of his third EP, The Looking Glass. "But I think time will tell. As always, my opinion of it is if they can make the focus the contestants throughout the season, then I think whoever comes out on the other side of it's got a fighting chance, but we'll see."
While chatting with PopCulture last summer, the 38-year-old revealed that while he has not talked to any of the judges with the exception of Paula Abdul since the FOX finale in 2016, he still keeps in touch with so many of his Idol friends as many of them "congregated" to Nashville over the years. "It's weird," he laughed. "I do talk to Archie [David Archuleta] — it's been a minute. I talk to Brooke White over Instagram, every now and again, just touching base; Ramiele [Maluaby], once in a blue moon. But everybody's, we're all grown up now, and we don't talk as much as I wish we would. But I talk to Kris Allen, fairly regularly. I talk to Daughtry, [he] lives out here now, too."
The Texas-born, Missouri native adds how Melina Doolittle is another contestant he talks to a lot. "I'm sure there are people I'm forgetting, [who] are going to be mad at me, that I'm forgetting them," Cook laughed. "It's this weird, kind of fraternity."
Though he initially attended Idol auditions in 2008 to support his younger brother Andrew who did not make it through to Hollywood, Cook was prompted by him, their mother and a producer to audition himself. Wowing the judges with his unique performance of Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer," the rest is history for Cook whose Hollywood numbers took the competition to another level with Bryan Adams's "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" and Edwin's "I'll Be." Going head-to-head with runner-up Archuleta, Cook won on May 21, 2008, with 56% of the votes. Following his Idol victory, Cook broke several Billboard chart records, most notably with an incredible feat of having 11 songs from the show debut on the Hot 100 that week — leading with "Time of My Life" — beating the previous record by Miley Cyrus.
Cook returns with new music next month, telling PopCulture his forthcoming EP out April 16 is one he's "a little extra proud of" following a lengthy time away from sharing fresh tracks with fans. "I always want my music to make people think a little bit and I do feel like with this collection of music, obviously, like I said before, there is a through-line, but underlining all of that is hope," he said when asked what he wants fans to take away from the six-track EP. "I think this last year has been such a gut punch for everybody, and while me and my family, thank God, have certainly had it better than most, this year's not been without challenges for everybody. So, I think just trying to embrace the hope that kind of sits in front of us right now, as we hopefully get to the other side of this pandemic. I want this album to be a reprieve."
David's EP The Looking Glass releases April 16, with his new single "Fire" out now and available at all digital retailers, including Amazon. For more on David and all your favorite musicians, keep it locked to PopCulture.com!